The online community of knife collectors, A Knife Family Forged in Steel
AliExpress is a service connecting consumers of the world to vendors in China. One could draw an analogy to Amazon.
The prices are right ..and.. quality is available ..IF.. you shop & compare.
I've found the old adage "you get what you pay for" to hold true. i.e. if it's ridiculously cheap .. it's likely a POS. If it's fairly priced .. the quality is just as likely there. Shopping is required ..as.. pricing can vary greatly vendor to vendor.
I've personally been using this service since 2011. As I stated earlier .. I've sourced some real junk. Mostly though .. some good quality @ better than average prices.
I'm starting this discussion as a means of sharing information. If you've purchased & received a good deal .. here's a place to share. If you've purchased a POS .. her's a place to share / warn. If you're contemplating a purchase .. here's a place to query if another has ..and.. the results.
Indeed .. a lot of trial & error still exists for me too. The search function is simply .. horrible !!
I believe .. some of that is a function of just what the vendor can & cannot list for sale. i.e. I've seen autos offered for sale ..then.. disappearing. Only to show up again .. a week or so later .. under a totally different description.
Regardless .. the method I've found most useful .. is to do a generic search.
Say .. damascus knife. Which I just did & that search currently returns ..literally.. 8,289 results.
I then turn on the filters .. "free shipping" & "1 piece only". Results are now reduced to 8,036.
I then define an upper & lower price range .. 15 ~ 65 .. for this example. Results now = 5,340.
Still .. a formidable amount. BUT .. I start paging through them looking for something to catch my eye.
When something does .. I click on it & observe the vendor's description.
Regardless of how I would describe the knife .. I note how the vendor has described the knife.
I then re-initiate a search based on those parameters .. 'n reset the appropriate filters.
That's how I found the tea knives.
Search for "damascus tea knife" & I get 131 results.
That is a "doable" amount.
Then .. I start comparing vendor's pricing. It can vary .. a bunch.
That blank I sent you as a neck knife / small dagger kit for instance.
I've seen them listed as high as $17.xx .. I caught those on sale for under $10.
!!! .. It pays to shop .. !!!
Anyway .. that's what I do.
J.J. Smith III said:
Dale, you might want to explain the best way to search on AliExpress. It's still a hit and miss proposition with me.
Like JJ .. my purchases are not limited to cutlery.
I'm a big tea drinker .. great pricing on great tea .. go figure.
Paracord .. 7 strand .. < $.04 / ft.
Machinist tools & carbide end mills.
12" vernier caliper .. $26.57 .. inexpensive digital readout for Y-axis of X-Y table for mill.
USB microscope .. 50X & 500X power .. $11.13 .. very clear .. can save image as jpg or video .. works GREAT !!!
Wooden bench vise .. $14.34 .. extremely handy .. building knives.
RED gel pens for work .. $8.67 for 50 pcs.
Dog whistles .. read rape whistle .. pennies. So loud they hurt !!
Field tweezers .. $2.90 .. identical (except for stamping) as those in certain knife catalogs.
High power low distortion glass loupes .. < $5 .. helps reading those cutlery stampings.
Laptop skin .. $8.99.
Placed first order Oct 2011.
Patience is more than just a virtue .. when ordering direct from China.
A couple orders received in ~ 1 week.
A couple orders took ~ 6 weeks.
Average ..for me.. ~ 3 weeks.
Jan Carter said: I have often wondered about buying from them. I have looked at many things they offer but never their knives.
OK, that does make the search options a bit better. I kept find 1000 plus pieces LOL
LOL JJ, I totally agree
Did Donnie get a chance to try those carbide bits you ordered for him ?? They were carbide .. right ?!? Not HSS. Anyway .. was just wondering how that came out !
Re: comments above .. shipping can be erratic. However .. my "average" is just under 3 weeks .. for AliEx ordered items. I have experienced one (1) nightmare item like JJ .. where it visits both coasts before making it to my mailbox. But .. that's the exception. Except for possibly JJ .. who seems plagued by that. What have you had, JJ .. three of them do that on you ??
Hope you two have a good day today. Both of you .. stay safe !!!
Eventually found some .1/4 micron abrasive paste on Ali.
£6 and free delivery, only a small amount but enough for a long time of razor sharpening.
Not at all easy to find these things on the site though, 1/2 micron is no trouble, but 1/4 not easy till you find one site... then they appear in multiples just like bus's
Wonderfully cheap and does the job just fine !!